By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
ETHIOPIA (ANS) — A mob of Islamic extremists stoned Seid Ahmed and Musa Ibrahim [names changed for security reasons] in Jijiga, a city on border with Somalia. The attack is the latest attack against Christians in Ethiopia where the spread of radical Islam is fueling the persecution of Christians.
ICC (International Christian Concern) www.persecution.org says that on July 19, 2008, Ahmed and Ibrahim were going to a church meeting when they were confronted by nine extremist Muslims yelling anti-Christian slogans. The extremists started hurling rocks at the two Christians.
Ahmed, who is a church leader, was hit by eight stones and suffered a severe concussion and injuries on his torso. He was admitted to Karamara Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
Ibrahim escaped physical harm as he fled the scene to call the police who never arrived to stop the attack. The mob finally dispersed when Ibrahim ran in the direction of the local police station.
ICC says that Jijiga is the capital city of Somali Regional State, which is one of nine states in Ethiopia. The majority of residents in Somali State are ethnic Somalis who are majority Muslim.
According to ICC, this is not the first time that Christians have been attacked in Jijiga. On August 5, 2007, the Ethiopian Full Gospel Church in Jijiga was bombed. Though the church was packed with five hundred people, no one was hurt by the explosion. The same church was attacked by bomb five years earlier.
ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said, "Unless the growth of radical Islam is curbed in Ethiopia, the attacks against Christians will continue to rise. Ethiopian government officials, particularly local officials in Muslim dominated areas of the country, should be made accountable for failing to protect Christians against such attacks."
ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department.